It was necessary for Government to seek other avenues and shift from the traditional debt relief programmes since they were worthless. To reach the first benchmark, called “decision point,’ a country must implement an IMF economic programme for three years, develop an interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper and clear any outstanding arrears. Upon reaching decision point, a country receives debt relief in the form of lower debt service payments.
In order to reach completion point, countries must establish a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) and be “on-track” with the conditionalities outlined in an IMF “Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility” (PRGF) loan. The approval of the IMF is critical: if the IMF declares a country “off track” in its PRGF programme, it cannot reach completion point and its interim debt relief is suspended, meaning that the country’s level of debt service increases.